The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Mamata slams Sudip for going public

Calcutta, May 26: Trinamul Congress chairperson Mamata Banerjee today blasted her one-time confidant Sudip Bandopadhyay for going to the media with information that was strictly “internal matter of the party”.

A visibly irritated Mamata abruptly put an end to a news conference when told Bandopadhyay — now in Delhi — had claimed he was not informed about the meeting of the party’s working committee last Saturday. The meeting referred Bandopadhyay to the disciplinary committee, which was asked to recommend “action” against him.

“Go and tell these people (Bandopadhyay) to come and speak about internal matters of the party within the party,” said Mamata.

Earlier, at the beginning of the news conference, mayor Subrata Mukherjee said it would not be proper to comment on Bandopadhyay’s status in Trinamul as he had been referred to the disciplinary committee. “It is something like a case that is subjudice. We should not discuss it,” he said.

Bandopadhyay said as the decision to convene the meeting of the working committee was taken late last Friday, he could have easily taken a morning flight from Delhi to attend it.

In the same breath, the Trinamul MP added that he continued to be part and parcel of Trinamul and the “unity of the party was foremost” on his mind.

“I have no hesitation in saying that Mamata is my leader and I am with the party since my birth. I submitted my resignation as a Congress MLA from Bowbazar — I had won the seat by a 20,000-vote margin — to contest from the Calcutta Northwest Lok Sabha constituency as a Trinamul candidate ,” he said.

But at the same time, he expressed gratitude towards Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and his deputy, .K. Advani, for their “blessings”. They helped him develop his constituency, he said, while ruling out any possibility of distancing himself from the BJP Big II.

Sources close to Bandopadhyay pointed out that Advani had helped the Trinamul MP carry out his proposed project to beautify the east bank of the Hooghly and circular railway stations that fall within his constituency. Swami Vivekananda’s house was renovated at his behest.

It was also learnt that Bandopadhyay was trying to ensure the presence of the deputy Prime Minister at the inauguration of the Hooghly riverbank beautification project.

Trinamul insiders said what actually irked Mamata was Bandopadhyay’s claim that the Prime Minister had phoned to invite him to his Cabinet. “If Sudip had not informed the media about it, things may not have gone the way they went,” said one of them.

Some of Mamata’s aides are also of the opinion that Advani was using him as a tool.

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